I'm in the Chambery / Annecy region for a few days break and had a nice hike today. My girlfriend took the train into Lyon for the day and I headed into the Bauges (a mountain range in the northern pre-Alps).
Up here, the mountain ranges - the Bauges, the Chartreuse, the Vercors are a bit like castles, surrounded by moat like valleys. Climb up the steep castle walls, and inside there are relatively flat fields and forests, dominated by isolated peaks. During the second world war, their natural defenses made them strong points of the resistance; unfortunately, they were also the scene of terrible reprisals just after D-day.
I climbed one of the highest peaks in the Bauges and throughly enjoyed my hike and the contrast to the southern alps. Greener and softer scenery, cows instead of sheep, fall is further advanced, a bit more chocolate boxy. The last 200m was very steep grass (I wouldn't have liked to slip) and, at the summit, I had a wonderful view of Mount Blanc, a little further east.